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Wagamama’s new Japanese-Inspired Breakfast

BY Boon Koh
Published 21 May 2015

There is an increasing trend in London for eateries to go beyond their comfort zones. The most high profile recently has been Pret-a-Manger trailing dinner at their lunch shops. Even dessert places like Patisserie Valerie, who have already branched out to lunch and afternoon dining, is poised to enter the breakfast market. Wagamama, known for its tasty, good value, and quick Japanese meals is now looking to follow this trend by offering a breakfast menu.

At their newly opened flagship restaurant on Marlborough Street, I was recently invited to try their new Japanese-British breakfast menu. Fusion dishes like breakfast ramen with sausage and bacon and kedgeree with katsu curry sauce feature on their new experimental breakfast menu.

The menu is definitely on-trend in the London food scene, jumping on two hot dishes the moment: hirata buns and ramen noodles. Wagamama’s fusion hirata steamed buns with mixed mushrooms, nori omelette, and Sriracha sauce was one of the standouts. The breakfast ramen noodles was unique, taking what is a traditionally lunch or dinner dish and transforming it for breakfast. The use of grilled sausages and bacon gives it a traditional English twist, and the combo of noodles and savoury meats goes really well.

wagamama breakfast ramen
wagamama-hirata-bun-bacon
wagamama-hirata-bun-mushrooms

Spicy Sriracha sauce featured subtly in both dishes, which I liked, but some might not like it so early in the day, so be sure to request Sriracha-free if you lean that way. Here too, Wagamama is catching on to a trend. A few years ago, it would have been difficult to find a bottle of Sriracha sauce in London, as outside Thailand it had only really caught on in the US.

Okonomiyaki, a traditional Japanese egg pancake, is offered in the menu as well. Traditionally with lots of ingredients and a generous serving of sauces, at Wagamama’s it has been toned down for breakfast and is more akin to a western style omelette. Still, it was a tasty vegetarian combination of shiitake mushrooms, red cabbage, and leeks, and has given me inspiration to try to replicate it at home one weekend.

wagamama-okonomiyaki omelette

Overall, I really liked Wagamama’s inventive fusion breakfast menu. It is currently in only a few trial locations, but given the interesting menu, I would be surprised if it didn’t get a good response and rolled out nationally very soon. In the meantime, you can try it during this pilot trial period at their new Marlborough Street flagship restaurant!